April 08, 2009

SL dying?

Writing about web page http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/columnists/guest_contributors/article6017891.ece

There seems to be a huge confusion at the basis of this – the writer says things become uncool when they cross into the mainstream – the early adopters move on when the laggards get there. That’s true. But then he equates that with the thing dying, which is the complete opposite to what really happens. Things only really take off when they become uncool and the mainstream gets hold of them. Google, FaceBook, Twitter are all more boring now everyone uses them, but that actually means they’re thriving.

SL is a long way from being mainstream, but that doesn’t mean it’s dying either. I think what has happened is that the big corporations have lost interest, since the chance to make a huge profit from it, and use it for reaching a big audience, hasn’t proved effective (just looking at the numbers could have told them that though). The number of actual users seems to have plateaued out at 1.5 million, but that seems pretty stable.

What is starting to work is that people are starting to work out what SL is good for in education, and its use there is becoming a bit more embedded. What the big corporations do or don’t do isn’t really a big deal – what do they know about anything anyway?


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